In case you missed it, Zuuko just threw down the gauntlet and I have to respond with my standard earnest liberal crap about the US election. Look, I’m not gonna tell you how to vote for president. First off, I think voting is a personal thing and you should vote for whoever you think more closely aligns with your interests . Second off, if you’re an undecided voter looking to Rated Zed’s endorsement for your guidance, you have problems way, way more serious than can be resolved by a correct vote in the US election. Third off, there’s already, like, celebrities to tell you what to do and stuff.
But what I think is totally underdiscussed, except by Yglesias here, is that when you’re voting, you need to think about what the position you’re voting for entails. What does a President do? He names a cabinet, acts as the commander in chief of the armed forces, signs or vetoes bills given to him by congress, and nominates justices to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, what bills are written is decided by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
One corollary of the above is that if, for instance, you agree with more of Obama’s domestic policies but a very important issue for you is that the US president unconditionally support Netanyahu when he bombs Iran and/or preëmpts Netanyahu by bombing Iran himself, you should probably vote for Romney. I don’t agree with you, but, hey, it’s your vote.
Another corollary is that in terms of domestic policies, it makes sense to think about the things in a president’s power. Romney doesn’t get to write the tax cut he likes. Romney is now saying, for instance, that he doesn’t want to cut taxes on the rich. I mean, believe that if you will, or believe his earlier claims of wanting to do precisely that if you’d rather. Point is, say he gets a bill that says “let’s do a giant tax cut for the rich!”. Would he sign such a bill (this is what the Yglesias post linked earlier asks)? Say Romney gets to appoint a Supreme Court justice. What will he look for in terms of their beliefs? Romney says he has no anti-abortion legislation on his agenda. Prolly totally true! Say congress writes him some. Is he gonna veto it? Say congress votes to abolish the EPA. Will he veto it? Similar questions, of course, also apply to Obama. Those are the important questions in domestic policy. I wish someone would ask them, rather than going on about Obama and Romney’s “plans”.
A third corollary is that if the issues most important to you are domestic US issues, you have to care about congressional elections. Sorry. Both Obama and Romney seem like intelligent, reasonable, non-ideological people. Whoever of them is elected, that in itself is not a tragedy. Meanwhile, we have stories like “Pro-Life Congressman Recorded Himself Convincing Mistress to Get an Abortion” where the punchline is, you know, what it says, and “U.S. Rep. Paul Broun: Evolution a lie ‘from the pit of hell’” where the punchline is that Broun says that he “as a scientist” has uncovered the earth is only 9,000 years old. And also that Broun sits on the Science Committee in the House of Representatives that gets to write bills that have to do with, you know, the US policy on science.
In other political news, Marxist-Socialist Jokes!